Republican gubernatorial nominee Mike Pence says he will announce Monday his gubernatorial nominee for lieutenant governor, and speculation is focusing on freshman Representative Sue Ellspermann. Ellspermann tells Network Indiana she‘s “flattered” by all the discussion, but will neither confirm or deny she‘s joining the ticket.
House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says he has talked to Pence, and expects the Sixth District congressman will “probably” follow his advice to select a woman with legislative and economic development experience. A grinning Bosma acknowledged only a few legislators fit all those criteria, but would not comment on Ellspermann specifically.
“I felt that there was an expectation for a strong female candidate, and one that had experience in economic development, and it‘d be a nice addition to have legislative experience,” Bosma says.
Ellspermann is a small business owner who previously headed the Center for Applied Research at the University of Southern Indiana. She‘s completing her first term in the House after unseating then-Majority Leader Russ Stilwell (D-Boonville) by 880 votes in 2010.
Pence plans a Monday rollout with his running mate in Indianapolis and at least four other cities — including Evansville, about 40 minutes from Ellspermann‘s home in Ferdinand. The GOP team will also stop in Elkhart, Fort Wayne and Merrillville. The pick becomes official at the state Republican convention June 8 and 9. June 8 is also the deadline for Democratic nominee John Gregg to announce his choice.